Looking for a new read? We hope you’ll find these August recommendations from Greene County Public Library staff members as distinguished, stately, and even resplendent as we did.
By Christina Baker Kline
To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century.
Recommended by Sue, Cedarville Community Library: "A successful historical fiction will compel me to learn more about the subject. This did just that, and I couldn’t put it down."
By Jodi Picoult
When anthropologist Cassie Barrett wakes up in a graveyard and does not know who she is, the only person she trusts is Native American William Flying Horse as she uncovers the dark secrets of her past.
Recommended by Kim, Beavercreek Community Library
By Nicola Yoon
A scientifically minded girl who avoids relationships to help keep her family from being deported and a dutiful student who endeavors to live up to his parents’ high expectations unexpectedly fall in love and must determine which path they will choose in order to be together.
Recommended by Mary, Xenia Community Library
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
After Ashitaka develops a deadly virus, he travels the forests in search of a cure and becomes entangled in the bitter battles of the people that he meets.
Recommended by Elizabeth: "I would agree with critics who have called this the 'Star Wars of Studio Ghibli.' This movie has a very important message to give: Humans must respect nature. Throughout the entire movie, humans are destroying this forest where spirits and animals reside. Ashitaka, a young prince who is attacked and cursed with superhuman strength by a demon helps San, a young woman who is raised by wolves and seems to hate every human. Together, they fight Lady Eboshi, the ruler of Irontown, who has vowed to destroy the forest and all of its inhabitants. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I am considering buying it and watching it again. Both the animation and the story are just so beautiful. This has got to be Studio Ghibli's best movie."
Directed by Sarah Gavron
Maud is a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she is secretly recruited to join the U.K.’s growing suffragette movement. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst, Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life.
Recommended by Brenda
By Pearl S. Buck
A Chinese peasant overcomes the forces of nature and the frailties of human nature to become a wealthy landowner.
Recommended by Caty, Beavercreek Community Library
By Dan Wells
John Wayne Cleaver keeps his obsession with serial killers in check by a set of rigid rules that he lives by, hoping to the prevent himself from committing murder, but when a body turns up behind a laundromat, John must confront a danger outside himself.
Recommended by Tim, Beavercreek Community Library: "First three books in this series are fantastic (take a pass on the movie). Creepy teenage-Dexter investigates a serial killer in his town, because who better to find a sociopath than a sociopath? Best (earned) twist half way through will hook you on series forever."
By Jeffrey Kluger
Citing the space race, Cold War and 1967 Apollo 1 tragedy, a riveting account of the harried mission to use an untested rocket to secure America’s position as the first nation to reach the moon reveals the dangers endured by its crew and the ways the mission brought inspiration and renewal to an America ravaged by assassinations and war.
Recommended by Greg, Community Information: "This book relates the amazing story of the Apollo 8 mission that took humanity around the moon for the first time–even though there was plenty of concern it might be a suicide mission. It also provides fascinating context about the Gemini missions in which some of the Apollo 8 astronauts first flew into space, and about how the Apollo 1 tragedy cast a shadow over the program while also leading to many changes that helped to make it a success."
By Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme
A memoir begun just months before Child’s death describes the legendary food expert’s years in Paris, Marseille, and Provence and her journey from a young woman from Pasadena who cannot cook or speak any French to the publication of her legendary Mastering cookbooks and her winning the hearts of America as “The French Chef.”
Recommended by Caitlin, Greene County Room: "I adore Julia's cooking shows, so reading her autobiography was a no-brainer for me! This book is a love story of her experience with France and its food, narrated in Julia's own idiosyncratically engaging style, and I found it simply a delight to read."
By Paulo Coelho
A tale inspired by the life and death of Mata Hari is presented as a series of letters written from prison on the eve of her death and includes her reflections on her childhood in a small Dutch town, her unhappy years as the wife of an alcoholic diplomat, her rise to celebrity in Europe and the choices that led to her execution for espionage.
Recommended by Jessica, Fairborn Community Library
By Ann Patchett
One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved.
Recommended by Dora, Fairborn Community Library: "I enjoyed this novel about two California couples who divorce and reconfigure marriages and the lives of the children involved. A beautifully crafted tale taking you places few would choose to go."
By Patrick Sheane Duncan
Ravaged by the Nazi Secret Service during World War II, Romanian resistance forces turn to one of their leaders, Professor Van Helsing for any way out. To fight these monstrous forces, Van Helsing raises a legendary monster from centuries of slumber… Prince Dracula himself.
Recommended by Nora, Fairborn Community Library